I never understood what the appeal of Dvigrad, Croatia was for me. I can’t even precisely remember how I got so interested in this pile of rocks and debris, in the first place. I think I remember reading something about it before my first trip to Croatia in 2004. I didn’t make it to the ruins that year, being too weak with a cold while in Opatija to make it further west. Upon returning home and later planning for another trip to Croatia, I stumbled across more pictures of the ruins as well as some history which I think added to the allure a great deal.
So, in 2005, I finally got to see Dvigrad. Naturally, it wasn’t this colossal kingdom that was laying in a preserved state as I think I had built it up in my mind. No, it was piles of rock walls that still stood reasonably well despite basically no maintenance to the site. I put up a little gallery of that trip which I need to add more to at some point, since it documents the site at it’s worst to date.
It was funny that while we were there, we bumped in to some Italian workers who were striving to preserve the site, or at the very least stop it from crumbling more. After all, the whole town is there on this hill, but in pieces. So, in 2007, on a return trip, I saw the result of their work. A lot of trusses had been put in and the mortar repairs in the stones. It looks a bit different now as you can see in the more recent Dvigrad gallery.
We have ghost towns in the US that are maybe 150 years old at most, but we don’t have dead cities like Dvigrad which is over 1,000 years old. Despite this history, it was unsuccessful in living any further, dying out in the 17th century. Yes, I know that there are all kinds of cultures that have ruins that are much older and more impressive, but for some reason, this one I found interesting. There’s some kind of a sadness to it, like the crumbling ruins are in a constant state of sighing, waiting for history to swallow them up once and for all.
But, the end might not be as near as it may seem. A plan has been put forth to continue the restoration efforts and as unbelievable as it seems, given the state of the ruins, actually rebuild the whole town. The reason behind it being that it could be a good tourist attraction and museum for the area, which needs some museums badly I might add. Despite all the history that has passed through the area, there is little done to show it. This is most likely the case due to the lands being part of either Venice and then Italy for several centuries until just sixty years ago. Whatever the end result, I do hope that it gets restored and cleared out more. If for no other reason than to allow stupid kids from Zagreb to go freerunning all over it.